Barry Ritholtz is chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation” and runs a finance blog, The Big Picture, and is a columnist for The Washington Post.

NOTE: Barry will be on Dylan’s show today at 4PM discussing the latest economic news out of Greece, Italy and the EU.  We’ll post the video after it airs.

“One group has been especially vocal about shaping a new narrative of the credit crisis and economic collapse: those whose bad judgment and failed philosophy helped cause the crisis. Rather than admit the error of their ways — Repent! — these people are engaged in an active campaign to rewrite history,” writes Barry Ritholz, CEO and director of equity research at FusionIQ.

In his latest Washington Post column, Barry lays out one of the simplest yet most cohesive summaries of the main causes of financial crisis we’ve read recently. In addition to that, he throws a new phrase into the mix that we love: “The Big Lie.”

Barry believes that those who participate in The Big Lie  “all suffer cognitive dissonance — the intellectual crisis that occurs when a failed belief system or philosophy is confronted with proof of its implausibility.” Here’s an except:

“Wall Street has its own version: Its Big Lie is that banks and investment houses are merely victims of the crash. You see, the entire boom and bust was caused by misguided government policies. It was not irresponsible lending or derivative or excess leverage or misguided compensation packages, but rather long-standing housing policies that were at fault.  Indeed, the arguments these folks make fail to withstand even casual scrutiny. But that has not stopped people who should know better from repeating them.

Moreover, Ritholtz explains why The Big Lie gains traction in the first place:

Why are people trying to rewrite the history of the crisis? Some are simply trying to save face. Interest groups who advocate for deregulation of the finance sector would prefer that deregulation not receive any blame for the crisis… Some stand to profit from the status quo: Banks present a systemic risk to the economy, and reducing that risk by lowering their leverage and increasing capital requirements also lowers profitability. Others are hired guns, doing the bidding of bosses on Wall Street.”

Barry’s full column is available here at the Washington post.

So, who are the worst offenders when it comes to spreading misinformation about the causes of the financial crisis?  Let us know your thoughts on “The Big Lie” here in the comments, over on our Facebook page, or @DylanRatigan.

Megan Robertson is a digital producer for